Poem for Lou Reed

It was a day that began
quite uninterestingly enough,
a day where no cake
had been spilled upon the floor.

There were clouds, I guess,
painted clouds like signal flares.
Mentholated smoke discharging
through faintly lit chasms

and swallowing segments of tracheas.
I had been to breakfast with an ex
that I’d still like to fuck
but not date. Lots of weird looks

from the Sunday crowd –
I think they assumed that we
were coming off of a bender.
Anway, I found out later that evening.

Found out that Lou Reed had died.
I didn’t bother to find
out the cause, since that
just isn’t important.

I just knew that he died.
My initial reaction was the atonal
screech of the Black Angel’s death
song, so I gathered up a few bundles

of arsenic and gobs of mascara,
threw them into a spoon,
gave them the Zippo treatment,
and threw the mixture on

my bedroom walls.
The end result was rock and roll
lingering on pale blue eyes.
Satellites of love broke through

the ceiling, white light, white heat
crushing Venus in furs.
A less than perfect day.
Recollections of a banana imploring

me to peel slowly and see,
so I peeled and I saw, and then
I straight up peeled, reeling at the sonic
shrapnel howling from a spinning plate.

That’s something that sticks with you,
a needle in your vein,
fixes you with track marks
like a New York subway line going

nowhere and everywhere until finally
the train smashes into the platform,
and of course there are people
standing there. That’s how you know

that this was indeed
something significant,
and from the screaming
and squealing of metal

machine music, a baritone voice
directs you to run, run, run,
and take a drag or two.
But you don’t run, because despite

all the violence, you see something
strangely beautiful, something
that sort of seizes you
with jagged hands and shoves nails

in your shoes. You don’t look
at the world quite the same after that.
You’ve seen and heard too much.
But your grateful for the experience.

– r. miller


One thought on “Poem for Lou Reed

  1. I love the way the poem spills out between the verses, it makes the eye move on like the chords of a rock song. Thank you for sharing how this iconic (and of course deeply sad) moment felt.

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